The FDA has lowered the age restriction on buying Plan B One-Step, a type of morning-after pill, without a prescription from 17 to 15. Some groups want no limits on access; others want bigger barriers.
The Food and Drug Administration’s decision to lower the age of eligibility for the morning-after pill – but not eliminate restrictions altogether – has left nobody completely satisfied.
On Tuesday, the FDA announced that the emergency contraceptive known as Plan B One-Step would now be available, without prescription, to those ages 15 and older. That represents a shift from the current regulation, which made the pill available without a prescription only to people 17 and above. The new rule also allows the pill to be sold on pharmacy shelves, instead of being locked behind a pharmacy counter.
The FDA’s move came in response to an amended application by the pill’s manufacturer, Teva Women’s Health, which was filed after a 2011 decision by the FDA to restrict access to Plan B One-Step to women 17 and older. Tuesday's announcement was not a response to a federal judge’s ruling on April 4, which ordered the pill be made available within 30 days for all ages and without a prescription. That deadline is next Monday.
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